Chief Minister Virbhadra Singh said that all the left out Bhakra Dam Oustees would be provided plots for construction of their houses in Bilaspur Town within two years. He was addressing a well attended public meeting at Bilaspur today. He also distributed the plot allotment certificates to the Bhakra Dam oustees on the occasion. He also paid floral tributes to Smt. Indira Gandhi and administered ‘Sankalp Diwas’ oath to the gathering. Chief Minister said that he had performed ‘Bhoomi Poojan’ for Bhakra Dam Oustees near HRTC Workshop, Bilaspur during his previous tenure but the previous BJP Government have not taken further initiative in this direction. Instead, five plots were allotted to Saraswati Vidya Mandir at all five sectors of Bilaspur whereas the oustees were still awaiting for their rehabilitation after over five decades. He said that only one plot on market rate would be given to Saraswati Vidya Mandir and other four would be taken back for allotment to oustees.
Shri Virbhadra Singh said that recently Cabinet had decided to regularize the encroachments upto 150 sq. meters to Bhakra oustees only on token amount of Rs. one per sq. meter. He said that those who have encroached more land would be taken back and re-allotted to their fellow brethren. He said that when Bhakra Dam was being constructed he was studying in the school and he was curious to see it as it was report in the press that largest reservoir and biggest dam was constructed. He said that he got chance to see the construction work when he was studying in college. Chief Minister said that 363 Bharka dam oustee families have been identified for allotting land in Bilaspur town out of which 118 plots have been allotted in Nihal sector. He said that land had been identified for allotment of 30-31 plots and the case has been sent to Town and Country Planning Department for approval while rest of the oustee families would also be provided plots in Bilaspur town itself. He said that these families were allotted land in Hisar or Rajasthan but the people could not settle there because of one reason or other reasons.
He said that large number of families have been affected due to formation of large reservoir of Bhakra Dam and Pong Dam resulting in ousting of many families. He said that his Government had taken decision to allow only run of river hydel projects in the State in future so as to minimise the oustees problem. Shri Virbhadra Singh said that plots would also be allotted to the people of Valmiki community who were living in the Bilaspur since many centuries and Government would construct the houses for them. He said that he had laid the foundation stone of Beri-Darolna bridge during his previous tenure as he knows that left bank area would be developed in coming times but the previous BJP Government did not do anything for constructing this bridge. He said that construction work on it would be taken up.
Shri Virbhadra Singh said that nation was paying tributes to the former Prime Minister Smt. Indira Gandhi on her martyrdom day. He said that Himachal Pradesh came into existence after eight months of independence on 15th April, 1948. He said that there were many voices about the merger of Himachal into Punjab and other States but as Pt. Nehru and Smt. Indira Gandhi had special affection towards the people of this hilly State so they kept separate entity of the State. He said that on 25th January, 1971 Smt. Indira Gandhi bestowed the status of statehood to Himachal Pradesh at Ridge, Shimla amidst heavy snowfall thus, our State become 18th State of Indian Republic. He said that during Smt. Indira Gandhi regime, our country had defeated Pakistan and had captured about one lakh soldiers and General of Pakistan Niazi surrendered before the Indian Army. He said that Pak soldiers were released after historic Shimla Pact signed between Smt. Indira Gandhi and Shri Julfikar Ali Bhutto, the then Prime Minister of Pakistan.
Chief Minister said that he was fortunate to work with all the Prime Ministers of the Country. He said that he became Union Deputy Minister of Tourism and Civil Aviation of Prime Minister Smt. Indira Gandhi Cabinet and later he got the opportunity to handle the affairs of Industries Ministry. He said that only deserving and experienced persons have become Prime Ministers of the country. He said that Dr. Y.S. Parmar had laid a strong foundation for the progress of this hilly State and today we had made tremendous progress in all spheres of development. Earlier, Chief Minister inaugurated ‘Sanskriti Bhawan Avam Kala Kendra’ housing art gallery and District Language officer Bilaspur constructed at a cost of Rs. 154.38 lakh. He said that it was a step towards preserving and display of culture, scriptures, sculpture, artefacts and paintings of Bilaspur and surrounding regions. He said that it would become popular with the people and particularly the tourists in times to come. Chief Minister was presented a cheque of Rs. two lakh towards Chief Minister’s Relief Fund by Pujaris of Naina Devi temple, a cheque of Rs. 62,500 by Anganwari workers and another cheque of Rs. 32,500 by Principal, DIET, Jukhala as contribution of DIET staff. Chief Minister thanked the contributors and said that it would help in providing relief to the poor and needy. Chairman, State Planning and 20-Point Programme Committee Shri Ram Lal Thakur said that Bilaspur district had taken long strides in development under the leadership of Chief Minister Shri Virbhadra Singh. He said that Shri Virbhadra Singh had not only waived off the interest but also loan taken for the house construction of Bhakra dam oustees. He said that Shri Virbhadra Singh had opened many big offices in Bilaspur town such as Forest, Mid Himalayan, Fire, Conservator, District Session Judge and Fisheries etc. Besides, scores of Senior Secondary Schools and two colleges.
Chief Parliamentary Secretary Shri Rajesh Dharmani said that Shri Virbhadra Singh was an experienced Chief Minister of the country who had also worked as Union Minister many times and the State had been benefitting from his long and vast experience. MLA Shri Bambar Thakur while welcoming the Chief Minister said that rehabilitation of Bhakra Dam oustees was an old issue and Shri Virbhadra Singh has always safeguarded their interests which is evident by the today function itself. He said that BJP raised a bogey of opening a Hydro Engineering College in Bilaspur without making any budgetary provision. He requested the Chief Minister that Hydro Engineering College was a small wing thus full fledged multi engineering college should be opened at Bandladhar. He also urged to open a polytechnic in his constituency and ITI in Kuthera.
Forest Minister Shri Thakur Singh Bharmouri, Chairman, Kangra Central Cooperative Bank Shri Jagdish Sipahiya, former MLAs Shri Babu Ram Gautam, Shri Tilak Raj and Dr. Beeru Ram Kishore, District Congress President Smt. Santosh Dhiman, District Mahila Congress President Smt. Anjana Dhiman, Chairman, APMC Bilaspur Shri Vivek Kumar, State Mahila Congress Vice President Smt. Pawana Sharma, Member, State Education Board Shri Sita Ram Sharma, Advisor to Chief Minister Shri T.G. Negi, Deputy Commissioner Dr. Ajay Sharma, SP Shri Kapil Sharma, senior officers and prominent persons of the area were present on the occasion.